Scholarship Honoring Obama’s Mother Recognizes Rainier Beach and Mercer Island Grads
by Clare Meeker
May 20, the Stanley Ann Dunham Scholarship Fund held its 8th annual awards ceremony at the Northwest African American Museum.
For the first time in its history, the Fund awarded a scholarship to a Rainier Beach High student.
Rainier Beach High graduating senior Emily Au, along with Mercer Island High graduating senior Christine Lee, received $5000 scholarships from the fund.
It also recognized eight other scholarship finalists – Rainier Beach High School seniors Celine Nguyen Le, Scarlet Quynh Nguyen, So Nanthavongsa, and Nirae Petty, and Mercer Island High School seniors Rory Murphy, Claire Stein, Sidney Montague, and Katerina Tiscornia.
Each of these women were honored for their leadership, love of learning, and passion for public service, values they share with Dunham – who was also President Barack Obama’s mother and a 1960 Mercer Island High graduate.
Emily Au was born in Seattle. Her parents immigrated from Vietnam and Cambodia after the Vietnam War. An accomplished artist, International Baccalaureate student, and athlete, Emily’s community activism began after finding herself ineligible for a free Orca card Seattle Public Schools provided to students commuting a significant distance to and from school.